Thursday, August 23, 2012
Thank You, Etsy!
I always thought of myself as of someone who could not sell things and hated doing that. In fact, I probably could not sell them precisely for that reason - because I hated the process of selling. We buy a lot of things online, mostly from the US shops, and this bears a certain element of risk. A mistake with size or wrong color expectations can result in selling the item, and I do not like the process of selling through local classified ads and having people come to my place. I would often end up giving the item as a gift or selling it at a very low price.
(Now I know our post service works very well, and I can return things fairly easily, even though I live so far away; for instance, we have had our daughter's toy camera replaced under a guarantee. By the way, it is a Vtech Kidizoom, and the manufacturer was fantastic in honoring the guarantee and replacing the faulty toy, even though we did not have a receipt. The replacement camera is perfect, and very much loved and used every day).
The point is, I do not like selling things from home. However, when I was 18, I was selling books in a shop and was quite good at it. First, I knew everything about my books because I was reading whenever I had a free minute; second, I viewed selling as sport. How do you find a perfect book for a person? How do you entice to buy and come again? This demanded efforts and insights.
Now I feel a bit like that, selling on Etsy, but it is even better. Now I never have to sell something I do not like. More than that, we only offer things we love. I take a great pleasure in looking for fabrics, bargaining, taking them home and then throwing them on my sofa to stand and stare in admiration. My mother enjoys making things she loves, at her own pace and in her own style, without a creative director other than her own ideas and concepts, and with much less limitations than those she faced when working for large enterprises. In those times she had to use whatever materials they had - sometimes quite unattractive - trying to make the best out of them. That was a great school for her, but now she has much more fun, toying with the best silk fabrics we can find here.
This is a very engaging process. We have always wanted to have a shop, but we could not afford a brick and mortar one. However, now we have 'our very own little boutique' on Etsy and enjoy it very much. We meet wonderful people, too, which is a very important part. I have new friends, and enjoy their company, and I am very grateful for their support.
Recently I have had some wonderful finds. For instance, the silk scarf in the picture above is made of lovely shoyi silk I have never encountered before. I love this combination of subtle colors and traditional ikat pattern. This fabric unites the best of two worlds and is perfect for those who like ikat, but prefer reserved color combinations which can be hard to find in Uzbek fabrics. It was a sheer pleasure for me to make a scarf from this amazing silk, and then to take photos, trying to show it the way I see it, and then to offer it in our shop. I hope the scarf will find a wonderful owner, and in the meantime I will continue my treasure hunt.